Why Family Research?
by William J. Girimonti III
In 1991, I was involved in a seven month long
military ordeal which encompassed Operations:
Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and Desert Calm--otherwise
known as the Persian Gulf War. During this interesting
time, I took on a new outlook and appreciation
for life. It took a war to make me realise how
much of my life I had already wasted. Upon my
return to the United States, I decided to do the
things I have always meant to do. One of them
was to research the family name. I had no idea
how much I would grow from this research. It has
enabled me to truly understand the family, it's
immediate origins, and much of it's background.
This study of one's ancestry is commonly referred
to as Genealogy.
One might ask, "What makes a person take on such a task?"
Every genealogist has their own reason. As for me, I felt it was
necessary because as a child, at age two, my parents were divorced,
grew apart and eventually lost contact with each other. For most
of my life, until the age of 19, all I knew of my father was his
name and an idea of what he looked like from some old pictures
of him in an Army uniform which were in one of my mother's photo
albums. After I graduated from Air Force Basic Training, I went
on to Technical Training school in Biloxi, Mississippi. While
I was there, I remembered the pictures and decided to find out
a little more to satisfy my curiosity. I was able to get some
information from his military records, which included his address
at the time of enlistment into the U.S. Army. I crossed the address
to a phone number and spoke to the family I knew only a brief
two years as a child. That little bit of research paid off. I
am now very close to that part of my family, including my father.
Proud of my success, it prompted me to find out all I could about
my long lost family. Thus began the lifelong search for my ancestry.
Genealogy has quickly become a very popular pastime for millions
of people worldwide, some even do it professionally and make a
decent income. The heart of this pastime is a solid background
in research. It is also essential that the researcher document
everything he or she finds, whether or not it seems important
at the time. They should also have a reasonable filing system
to organise the information so that it can be retreived easily
when needed. My filing preference is a computerised database where
I can easily find the data I am seeking in less than a second.
In the course of my research, I have used numerous sources to
gain further knowledge. The primary source of information is the
immediate family of the individuals being researched or the individuals
themselves. The next source I would go to is city, state, country
and local records (birth, death, and marriage records). One government
source that I use regularly is the Social Security Death Index
which lists most deaths in the U.S.A. since 1964. Telephone directories
work wonders as well. There are just thousands of sources to choose
from, each with their own kind of useful information.
What I have found
As a result of my steadfast commitment to this
research, I have amassed information on over 3500
people which are related in one way or another.
I have also united my mother with a brother and
sister she never knew she had. In addition, so
far, I have traced my direct ancestry back to
the year 1757. There have been so many positive
results from my research and for the family as
a whole. This success is my incentive to continue
on and strive for more.
As far as my goals are concerned, I plan on publishing all the
data in a book when I have data on approximately 5000 people,
though I will still continue on and add more as the information
becomes available. I also hope to organize a huge family reunion
within the next 5 years or so. I am expecting to have close to
200 people attend. The most important thing I hope to achieve
is to bring the entire family closer together. I feel this can
be done through a single medium-- this very website.
In short, I have accomplished much in the 17 years
that I have been involved in genealogical research.
I have found my family, united relatives, and
helped the family become closer. The road ahead
seems promising. I can foresee the publishing
of all the data I have collected, a huge family
reunion, a bridge between the Girimont, Girimonte,
Girimonti, Germonde, Girmonde, and Giramonti Families,
and bringing the family closer through one common
medium. . .this website.